Stats: Slow Growth Ahead for Domestic Travel

The U.S. Travel Association is projecting soft growth ahead for domestic travel. According to the organization’s latest forecast, the sector is projected to increase just 1.4 percent in 2020, the slowest pace in four years. 

The forecast represents a shift from previous reports by the U.S. Travel Association. In the organization’s reports for both September and August of this year, domestic travel continued to grow despite sluggishness in the inbound travel market. 

In another contrast, the American Society of Travel Advisor’s (ASTA) latest How America Travels study pointed to continued growth in domestic travel for next year. More travelers expect to take trips in the United States in the coming 12 months than did so in the past 12 months (79 percent versus 75 percent). At the same time, fewer travelers plan to take trips outside the U.S. (17 percent versus 23 percent). 

In terms of inbound travel, sluggish demand for overseas travel to the U.S. will sustain the trend of the country falling behind international travel growth worldwide, according to the latest forecast released by the U.S. Travel Association.

While global long-haul travel is projected to grow an average of 4.8 percent annually through 2023, the pace of U.S. growth is projected to be just half of that figure—2.4 percent.

That gap will further diminish the U.S. share of the total long-haul travel market to 10.4 percent by 2023—continuing the steady slide from its previous high of 13.7 percent in 2015.

The 2019-2023 decline in market share would translate to a loss to the U.S. economy of a further $78 billion in visitor spending and 130,000 American jobs. As a result of the decline since the 2015 high, the economy has already lost $59 billion and 120,000 jobs through 2018, the U.S. Travel Association said.

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